Sunday, June 15, 2008

Penguins make push to sign Hossa

Hossa, 29, is believed to be seeking a deal for five years or more. He expects to command no less than $8 million in annual salary on the open market. However, he said after the Stanley Cup final that he would "take less to play on a good team."

The Penguins, a Cup finalist, plan to test that claim. Their offer is likely to be worth nearly $50 million over seven years — a marginal raise on his 2007-08 salary of $7 million.
As great a postseason as Hossa had, I think it's downright insane to sign him to a $50-million contract.

I've gone into the Penguins' cap crunch previously, but essentially what it comes down to, with Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Hossa and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury under contract, is roughly $30-million in salary dedicated to those four players.

Throw in Sergei Gonchar's $5-million cap hit, Ryan Whitney's $4-million and a new contract for Jordan Staal, and what remains?

About $15-million to sign another 15 players in an era where the average player earns roughly $2-million?

After an incredible playoff run, the question in Pittsburgh is who stays and who goes, and putting as much as 13 per cent of the team's salary in Hossa is a huge commitment.

Is signing him until age 36 the right move with so much burgeoning talent on the roster?
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21 Comments:

At 10:42 AM, June 15, 2008, Blogger Richard-Steven Williams said...

Word is their already planning on shipping Ryan Malone to the Blue Jackets for Fritsche, it'll save at least a million on the cap, probably more as they are both going into free agency but Fritsche is no where near the player Malone is and it looks like that is what they are going to be stacking the rest of their roster up with... I'm rescinding my opinion on the Pens' becoming a dynasty. Orpik was probably one of their best players and him and Therrien don't see eye to eye with him going into free agency I can't see them signing him either. Their defence is going to be pretty rocky if they can only afford $1m average for the rest of the blueline.

 
At 11:22 AM, June 15, 2008, Anonymous dmg said...

I agree with you James. I'm a huge Hossa fan for his two way play, but to the Penguins he isn't worth the kind of money he'll get offered somewhere else. Besides with Malkin, Crosby and Staal the future looks pretty good in Pittsburgh and with Malkin, Crosby and Gonchar under contract the team should have a nice offensive core to build around.

The only reason to ink Hossa to a huge contract would be for Shero to try and prove that he didn't get fleeced at the trade deadline.

 
At 1:37 PM, June 15, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

Both of you guys seem to be right on the money (although the million or though they may save on Malone is relatively insignificant). Along with Crosby and Gonchar, Orpik and Hossa were the Penguins most noticable players in the finals (Malkin was also noticable, but only by his failure to deliver).
The Penguins need to concentrate on solidifying their defense if they plan on being a future threat. Tying up all that cap space with Crosby, Malkin (presumably), and Hossa doesn't make sense. Also, they're going to be good enough in the future that Shero won't have the likes of Crosby, Malkin, et al. handed to him in the draft in the shape of a "can't miss" defenseman. Inasmuch as the Penguins ability to judge talent lower in the selection process is somewhat mediocre, that money may be needed to lure a top free agent defenseman to Pittsburgh.
But what dmg wrote makes sense. If just one of those guys that was sent to Atlanta makes any kind of impact, Shero will be judged harshly for coming up essentially empty in the deal that, after all, failed to deliver the Cup.

 
At 1:48 PM, June 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orpik (as well as people like Staal and Talbot) have actually publicly stated that all the rumors of players being unable to stand Therrien to the point of leaving are false and media-created. Orpik's also now stated that he's interested in taking less money for a longer contract with the Pens. Sorry. And our defense, at least, is essentially set for next year (and up-and-coming in terms of Letang - 3rd rounder, Goligoski, and our drafted prospects), which is more than some teams can say.

If Malone wants to take an inflated contract from the Jackets or whoever else, that's his prerogative.

We'll see if Hossa's contract ends up being 7 years, but Shero's not a idiot. The Pens have had a dedicated capologist the entire year. He knows what he's doing - and he has the full trust of both ownership and the entire fanbase. (The talent throughout the system is better than Tampa ever had, before the comparisons start. Nobody's worried. Everybody's jealous.)

 
At 5:30 PM, June 15, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

The jealousy thing has seemed to become ubiquitous among Pens fans. A somewhat curious accusation to level at Wings fans. Not only are we sipping from the Cup once again, our young stars thoroughly outplayed your young stars, there's plenty more in the pipeline, and the organization has proven itself with large and not-so-large budgets.
No one is calling Shero an idiot, but he's yet to prove himself a genius on Holland's level. Thus far, the Penguins strategy for building a winner has been to lose and be blessed with a high draft pick, lose and be blessed with a high draft pick, etc. With the talent they've accumulated, it's impossible for them to continue losing, even with Therrien as coach.
So far, it's looking like Shero's current strategy is the one the Wings previously employed, the difference being that now there's a cap in place.

 
At 6:07 PM, June 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shero should have taken Marcel Hossa because even he could score with the best player in the world.

Losing character guy like Armstrong could be a huge mistake down the road.

Colbymeister could do Malone's job next season and bring little Gary Roberts-type to the table.

Shero is getting lot of airtime being The Fog's son and inheriting Crosby/Malkin/Fleury/Whitney/Orpik from previous regime.

I could have taken over from Slats in the early 80s. My father was a fireman so we can call him The Smoke.

 
At 10:36 PM, June 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Poindexter, at least you're giving Shero a measure of credit at this point and not claiming you or any other idiot could do his job.

No one would be so pretentious as to measure their GM to the almighty Ken Holland. Helping to create an untenable budget disparity and cause a lockout, then having contingency plans to run a perfectly competitive cheap team takes a special kind of genius.

As far as the fail-proof and foolproof "lose and draft high" 'strategy for building a winner', what's Atlanta's excuse? LA? What took Chicago so long?

Of course, when the Penguins lose it's all Therrien. It's just luck and talent and inevitable when they win so much; he couldn't possibly have anything to do with it.

For a fan of a team as self-satisfied and self-congratulatory as the Wings, you sure waste enough time amusing yourself by belittling the Penguins.

I hope you enjoyed every single minute of Game 5. Clearly, choking before you drink anything is the safest strategy.

 
At 12:23 AM, June 16, 2008, Blogger Jawsh said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tnzo0ZYWgmw

I'm pretty sure that more than makes any contract worth it.

Hossa! Hossa! Hossa!

 
At 7:17 AM, June 16, 2008, Blogger savagist said...

a) a brutal overpay will be Ryan Malone who didnt bother to show up the final series except for his Fangoria award. hopefully he is shipped. nice player but lets not get carried away here. second line LW on CBJ? might work with their cap space and needs.

b) do you want players that play end to end? if so, youre paying for them. Hossa is one of those players (his backchecking is outstanding which is brutally overlooked because its not a "stat") and he was pretty much the best player on the ice for the Pens outside of Fleury that entire SCF series. if Hossa isnt on the ice, the epic overtime game never happens.

c) make him movable down the line at a deadline. you never know.

d) Staal was very unimpressive. his skating is brutally slow. nice rookie year, nice defensive stick and decent tenacity but if he commands big dollars, yikes. and how stupid is Therrien to say Crosby and Malkin arent ready for PK while Staal is out there way younger and way slower. whatever floats your boat Macho Man.

 
At 8:47 AM, June 16, 2008, Blogger dying alive said...

"our young stars thoroughly outplayed your young stars,"

Hm. Which young stars are you talking about? 20 year old Crosby vs. 27 year old Zetterberg? Or 21 year old Malkin vs. 29 year old Datsyuk? Or perhaps 19 year old Staal vs. 28 year old Franzen? 23 year old Fleury vs. ....nevermind.

Come now. I would hope that guys with several NHL years and more playoff experience would "outplay" a bunch of early 20somethings in the show for the first time. Your comment is a little misleading also, considering the final playoff points race.

I'm sure Ray Shero appreciates all of the amateur capologists looking out for the Pens' future almost as much as he appreciates the "Malkin to my team for a 1st, a 3rd and a 4th rounder" offers that have become so prevalent on the interwebs to help alleviate the looming salary issues.

 
At 8:48 AM, June 16, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helping to create an untenable budget disparity and cause a lockout...

If you are going to blame the Red Wings, then at least admit they had many compatriots - the New York Rangers, Boston's insane contract for Lapointe, Yashin's contract, Jagr's contract - at least Detroit paid in an attempt to get winning teams, and usually got results. Other teams threw money around without results.

 
At 10:01 AM, June 16, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

Sensitive bunch of hockey fans for a place called the Steel City. Sorry, princesses, I wasn't aware of the dictate that no negative words be spoken or written of the Penguins.
You might want to dispel yourselves of the delusion that a string of first and second overall picks in the draft weren't integral to the Penguins success, or that any of us here wouldn't have known enough to say "Sidney Crosby" of "Evegni Malkin" at the appropriate time. My point was simply that now will be a better test of the collective judgement of the organization, as they #1 have to recognize talent deeper in the draft and #2 wisely disperse the allotted money.
Good sleuthwork in cracking the Red Wing conspiracy case. We were hoping no one would uncover Holland's scheme to orchestrate the lockout in order to win the Cup in 2008. Am eagerly awaiting your theories proving Holland's link to the JFK assassination and the WTC collapse.
While there is certainly truth in your assertion of the Wings' role in creating a budget disparity, they were actually one of the organizations content with the status quo- the money they were spending was money they were making (it was organizations like the poverty pleading Penguins that had the moving vans warming up). And while it's also true the Wings had the highest payroll in the game, that was due to the stockpiling of elite players as opposed to overpaying individuals, as Karmanos attempted with Federov, or with the examples of Lapointe, Yashin, et al. mentioned above.
Sorry dying alive, but with the exeption of Crosby, the baby Pens didn't show a lot against the Wings. Fleury was exceptional in the 3 OT game, but otherwise he was exceptionally mediocre while letting in some soft goals. I'm surprised you'd even bring up Malkin. I agree that these guys will grow into better playoff performers, but they didn't live up to their headlines in this years finals. Defending Therrien is noble, but he's an average coach at best, and his time-out that allowed the Wings to rest their penalty killers before the 5 on 3 might have been the single dumbest coaching decision I've ever witnessed.
savagist is absolutely correct in stating that Hossa is (far and away) your best 2-way forward. The question in the post was, however, whether it is smart to tie up that much cap space with him into his mid-30s. I don't think so, not when it appears most of your deficiencies are on defense.
Oh, and toughen up your thin skin, princesses. Other hockey fans are allowed to opine on your team.

 
At 10:33 AM, June 16, 2008, Blogger dying alive said...

"I agree that these guys will grow into better playoff performers, but they didn't live up to their headlines in this years finals."

Then you agree with my point, which was that they will grow into better playoff performers with experience..the much-touted experience that the Wings already had. Glad we see eye to eye.

And resorting to namecalling is sort of childish, don't you think? Though as a woman, being tagged "princess" isn't really that much of a slam. Nor is it much of a stretch, come to think of it.

 
At 3:03 PM, June 16, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

An impressive exegesis on my comment, dying alive. You perceiving my own agreement with your statement, with your only clue being me writing "I agree...", is one of the more impressive grasps of the obvious I've seen from the Penguin fans on this thread.
On the other hand, you still seem unable to understand that I initially wrote "outplayed", as in past tense, as in 2008 playoffs.
Now why don't you go shopping for some shoes, honey, and leave the hockey talk for the boys?

 
At 8:12 AM, June 17, 2008, Blogger dying alive said...

Oooh, bloviation and gender stereotyping, how will I ever counter that?

I am not unable to understand your point. The point I was making - which you seem unwilling or unable to grasp - was that guys with more experience SHOULD HAVE outplayed younger guys with little to no experience, so touting that as some kind of proof of Wings superiority isn't a particularly good argument.

And no worries about me continuing the argument further. I like talking hockey with boys who aren't thoroughly dense or willfully stupid.

 
At 5:03 PM, June 17, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

While I, on the other hand, am guilty of too much patience with the cheerfully ignorant and painfully amnestic.
I made no claim of Red Wing superiority, honey, although I can understand how you might infer as much by their possession of the Cup. Your assumption is apparently based on my response to an earlier commenter, whose claim that "Everybody's jealous" I seem to be reading with regularity by Pens fans on other blogs (and in the context in which it was used here struck me as a kid sticking out a tongue or taking their ball and running home). I simply explained why, that while it may be true in cities like Boston or New York, it's not the case in Detroit. That's all, sweetheart.
Whatever should have, could have, or would have happened, what did happen is that the Red Wings won, somewhat convincingly, and the reason is that their stars (even the aged ones like Zetterberg and Datsyuk) showed up and too many of the Penguins didn't. With me so far, babycakes?
Now, let me see if I can put this last point in a way you might understand. Oh, I know- "I agree that these guys will grow into better playoff performers...". Now I know that's somewhat ambiguous, so let me see if I might clarify that statement-I AGREE THAT THESE GUYS WILL GROW INTO BETTER PLAYOFF PERFORMERS (maybe I can get my contacts on The Simpsons to have Bart write that on the blackboard, darling).
Fortunately for you, lambchop, my patience was honed explaining the mysterious nuances of hockey to a succession of girlfriends, and now a wife and daughter, so I can understand how some vagaries of the game might be beyond your understanding. On the other hand, my experience has been that women are capable of fairly well developed critical reading skills. What happened to you? Ever considered needlepoint, or scrapbooking?

 
At 6:10 PM, June 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"maybe I can get my contacts on The Simpsons to have Bart write that on the blackboard, darling"

Ooh, subtle attempts to act elitist and well-connected, as if knowing someone who is successful makes you important. Sorry, not buying it.

"Fortunately for you, lambchop, my patience was honed explaining the mysterious nuances of hockey to a succession of girlfriends, and now a wife and daughter, so I can understand how some vagaries of the game might be beyond your understanding."

I must give you credit. I have never, in my entire life, heard a statement that so resoundingly says "I'm a forty-five year old who resides in my parent's basement. Although I have never kissed a woman, I love the gore because it provides me the opportunity to act like the stud I wish I were." Dude, you're so 1337 I don't know why anyone would ever challenge you're authority.

Beyond that, though, I fully enjoyed your attempt to trivialize dying alive's opinion as uninformed and childish because she lacks a y chromosome. Too bad you didn't tell her to go make you a sandwich, you superior, masculine stud, you. What happened? Did some girl kick your ass in the first grade and you've held a grudge against women ever since?

"Not only are we sipping from the Cup once again, our young stars thoroughly outplayed your young stars"

Umm, I'm sure you were sipping from the Cup. Yeah.....no. As for young stars outplaying the Pens,umm, who? You have no young stars. Did Henrik and Pavel outplay the Pens? Yes. However, if you consider them to be 'young stars' than the signing of Hossa, another 'young star' by your definition, would be a highly intelligent transaction, no?

"Therrien to say Crosby and Malkin arent ready for PK while Staal is out there way younger and way slower. whatever floats your boat Macho Man."

Would you care to offer me a quote where HCMT said Crosby isn't ready for the PK, please? The fact of the matter is that HCMT would much rather have Crosby available to hit the ice when the best players for the opposition are tired, like say, after a PP. As for Geno, while he defense has improved, I don't know that he would be better suited for the PK then the players (Hall, Stall, Malone, Talbot, Dupuis) who are already on the unit. Besides, unless I'm moronic, which is a distinct possibility, the PK did not lose the Pens the Cup. In fact, the unit performed rather well throughout the playoffs.

 
At 8:27 AM, June 18, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

Read obvious over-the-top rhetoric as literal at your own risk, Einstein, but more importantly, what's going on with the schools in Pittsburgh? Not that I'm not appreciative for the cheap satisfaction that thin-skinned Penguins sycophants provide by making it so simple to provoke your tribe. And doubly so when when they come armed with well-worn cliches (c'mon, dude, "parent's basement"?) that are the internet equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight.
Your point about Hossa's present age relative to Datsyuk and Zetterberg, however, is well taken. On the other hand, those two gentlemen weren't mentioned in the original post, the point of which was to question the wisdom of adding to cap burden by paying Hossa $7M contemporaneous with the bill coming due for even younger talent. Pittsburgh has obviously fallen in love with Hossa and thinking with the heart is not thinking smart. Hockey fans in other towns are capable of less emotional judgement, and in that respect, I tend to agree with our host. Of course, as a fan of a team that may well see the Penguins in future playoffs, I would be more than happy to have them tie up all that cap space on an "intelligent transaction" that would help to guarantee the opposition skating space inside the blue line.
You have convinced me, however, of my neanderthalish attitudes towards women. I promise to change. So, how about you getting me a sandwich, princess?

 
At 7:27 PM, June 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.

It has come to my attention that Mr. Poindexter is a riot.

Sorry. From an unbiased viewpoint, you pose good arguments, but your elitist attitude is downright laughable. I see a penis makes you feel superior. Don't worry, though, there's enough civilized people in the world to make up for delusions induced by your inflated e-peen.

Tell your (supposed) wife that I feel sorry for her, okay?

Now, as far as hockey is concerned. If the deal with Hossa falls through, I'm not sure how the Pens will fare in the long run. Truly, Hossa is a great forward, but his age is a concern, and they WILL have to release a young star to accomodate for it (unless, of course, they want to suck on defense). That said, Malkin made a better forward than a center - it makes more sense to release him for cap space, if they really want Hossa that badly. But, obviously, Malkin has far more potential and longevity. The logic behind this deal is flawed, even if they considered fielding a Crosby-Malkin-Hossa line (a terror to behold, but not worth the sacrifice). I'm sorry, but you have to question the management's judgement. It would take some pretty steep "hometown discounts" for any of this to work out on paper.

But. Maybe I'm speaking too soon. Perhaps they will pull something amazing out of their ass. As with anything of this nature, though, I wouldn't count on it. Zetterberg and Datsyuk would probably sooner rip them apart again.

 
At 7:33 PM, June 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Poindexter, since I know you'd be reading this to stroke your oversized ego and get your tiny rocks off - if you actually had any testicular fortitude, that is:

Take this and kindly. SHOVE. IT.

Sorry, looks like you'll be waiting at least a few more days to find something new to smirk about. You can spend some quality time with your Chris Osgood posters. Finish the shrine to Hakan Anderson and Mike Ilitch's money. Ask yourself if Stevie Y would waste his time as pathetically as you do.

Do your "wife and daughter" know that you patronize women like that online? Are they aware that you're such a massively unfunny jackass? It's pretty clear why you had to go through a 'succession' (failure, I suppose, more accurately) of girlfriends. If this is how you treat them, I'm sincerely hoping that they don't live with you. And I pity them if they do.

 
At 11:25 AM, June 19, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

The sniping here makes it clear to me that none of you share my burden of both a large brain and a large penis.

 

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